Monday, November 16, 2009

The Days Routine at Choke Canyon State Park

We have settled into a nice rut. Each day we pretty much do the same three things, go fishing, take a bike ride, and go birding. Its such a nice routine and its small wonder that this is one of our favorite places to camp.
I get up quite a bit earlier than Renita and so as morning breaks I walk down to the lake and search for bait. The fish love clams here and so I wade in the shallow end of the bay and look for the tell tale track of a clam.
As a clam moves, using its fleshy leg, it makes a vee shape and so you follow the plowed path and then dig around with your hand until you locate the clam. They aren't sharp like an oyster so you don"t have to wear gloves,(Of course you keep an eye out for any nearby alligators and luckily the quicksand isn't too deep).
Then you put on a slip sinker rig and cast out and go into your patience mode. So far I've caught bluegills, fresh water drum,(big ones), and catfish. I have also found two crankbaits.
The bike rides here are along the paved road but there is hardly any traffic and so we stop and bird as we bike. We road to the seventy six acre lake and watched the jacana and the birders who are still flocking in. Walking along the dirt road I somehow noticed a walking stick, can you see it in the image? Renita spotted a Harris hawk and it posed for our view but flew off when I got out the camera.
We also rode to the Birding Trail where a park ranger was giving a lecture on Native American uses of wild plants. We were both surprised to learn that prickly pear reproduces by cuttings and that it grows new roots from its spines. He showed a prickly pear that had grown roots after only two days!
The birding here is what draws us back. A simply walk through the campground is a visual treat. Brilliant vermilion flycatchers are a guaranteed sight, along with green jays, scissor-tailed flycatchers, and golden fronted woodpeckers. We have had the added pleasure of seven deer and a herd of javelina surprise us.
Its so nice to have your biggest problem, one of trying to identify a little grey bird! Such a far cry from our previous life where Renita lived with the pressure of checking how much coal was filled in train cars and I dealt with drug crazed teenagers. Each day is a blessing and this place is filled with beauty, so much that I am sure,God willing, we will return again. Clear skies

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